on cooking southern

washingtonpost.com
His Paula Deen takedown went viral. But this food scholar isn’t done yet.
Michael Twitty’s mission: To evangelize about the African roots of Southern food.

Wow this guy is amazing uhhhhhh uhhhhhh such awesome work

-blogger at Afroculinaria.com

“Twitty is deeply engrossed in both the African American and Jewish food traditions. “Blacks and Jews are the only peoples I know who use food to talk about their past while they eat it,” says Twitty, 38.”

“From Richmond it was a short jaunt to Colonial Williamsburg, where Twitty spent the week lecturing, conducting training sessions and cooking in period costume at three of the living history museum’s venues. In all his talks, Twitty emphasized the impact of chefs and cooks of African descent on shaping American and Southern cuisines in colonial times and after.”

“At a conference he met the scholar Robert Farris Thompson, author of “Flash of the Spirit,” a book about the influence of African religions on African American art that helped him see that “soul food” was, among other things, a spiritual term describing a mystical connection between humans and the animals and plants they eat.”

“He cooked and he gardened. He studied heirloom seed varieties, some that had been brought from Africa and some that had been carried from the New World to Africa and then, on slave ships, back to North America, among them okra, black-eyed peas, kidney and lima beans, Scotch bonnet peppers, peanuts, millet, sorghum, watermelon, yams and sesame. He called those seeds “the repositories of our history” and wrote about them in a monograph published by Landreth Seed in its 2009 catalogue.”

“Twitty’s embrace of all the various parts of himself — African, African American, European, black, white, gay, Jewish — sometimes raises hackles, as does his habit of speaking his mind. An article he wrote in the Guardian on July 4, 2015, suggesting that American barbecue “is as African as it is Native American and European, though enslaved Africans have largely been erased” from its story, elicited scorn and worse: Many commenters were outraged by his idea of barbecue as cultural appropriation.”

So being the Food Network addict that I am, I occasionally find myself watching Trisha Yearwood. And right now, the episode I’m watching features her going and getting a skating lesson from the Hockey Team.

So obviously, my brain goes “ZIMBITS AU”, which is only further resolved after Trisha says the following things:

- As you can imagine, growing up in Georgia, I didn’t skate a lot

- (to her friend who’s doing this misadventure with her) I think, as long as we look cute, it doesn’t really matter how good we are

So Bitty has a Food Network show with a vague “southern cooking in new england” theme, and the producers really like to play up the Georgian Fish out of Water angle with the not-actually-cooking segments of the show. So Bitty’s scheduled to do a private skating lesson with Marty and Tater, because the combo of warm and friendly but understated mentor Marty and loud gregarious and enthusiastic rookie (to the NHL - he has a few years in the Russian pros under his belt) Tater will make great television.

So Bitty is making both of them their own thank-you food. Bitty has fun experimenting with Russian pastries for Tater, and of course finds a way to incorporate maple into his apple pie for Marty.

The producers are expecting a lot of hilarious and endeering wobbling on the ice. And they get a lot of great footage of Bitty reacting to wearing hockey gear for the first time “I look like a big blue marshmallow, y'all”, but nobody remembers until Bitty’s on the ice that he was a Junior Regionals Figure Skating Champion.

He glides effortlessly onto the ice, has some fun learning how to handle a hockey stick (cue some ridiculous and just the right amount of off color for basic cable jokes about stick handling)

And of course, Jack Zimmermann, who works harder than god but kind of sucks at acting like a human being in front of cameras, is at the rink to get in some extra practice, and Tater is like “Zimboni! You come and race the tiny baker man!”

And Marty winks at Bitty, who gets the message and starts wobbling and skating like he’s never seen ice in his LIFE, and Jack looks warily at the cameras, but George has been on him to do more public relations stuff and he may as well make a “race” against this tv person part of his warmup.

And Bitty’s all “now, I ain’t no professional skater, Mr. Zimmermann, so you’d better go easy on me!” And then proceeds to SMOKE Jack the second Marty calls GO.

Marty and Tater are doubled over laughing, and the camera guy is circling Jack to get all angles of his utterly dumbfounded expression.

Bitty’s smirking, with his hands on his hips, then says, “do y'all think I could pull off a salchow in all this gear?” And proceeds to pull off a jump in hockey skates and all the gear. Tater, of course insists that Bitty teach him and the footage they get from it is pure gold.

So anyway. After they get off the ice, Bitty cuts up his maple apple pie and Jack decides he might actually be in love.

2

Tony- The Incredibles Classic Meatloaf 

“Stop you’re hurting me!” - Tony

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Onion (Chopped)
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 Cup Dried Bread Crumbs
  • 1 ½ LBS. Ground Tony
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tbsp Tony Hair
  • 1/3 Katchup
  • 5 tbsp cane sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ tbsp Garlic (Chopped)

HOWTO MAKE IT

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the egg, tony, onion, milk and bread OR cracker crumbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste and place in a lightly greased 5x9 inch loaf pan, OR form into a loaf and place in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
  3. In a separate small bowl, combine the cane sugar, mustard, hair, and ketchup. Mix well and pour over the meatloaf.
  4. Bake at 100 degrees F for 14 hour.

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I Admit Nothing -- Tim Drake x Reader

Here’s another request! I had fun writing this one as a friend of mine just recently set me up with someone. This isn’t based off our interactions though, just so you know. Enjoy my lovelies!

The request can be found here.

Word Count: 785

You took a sip from your drink as your (E/C) eyes swept across the room once more.

The restaurant was one of your favorites. It was surprising to find a place that served good ol’ Southern cooking in a city like Gotham. You missed your home down South, so any forms of comfort you took full advantage of. You’d originally moved to Gotham for school. After graduation, you’d been offered a job at Wayne Enterprises and took it without hesitation. The pay was good and you were actually using your mechanical engineering degree. Which is how you found yourself in the current situation.

You had been good friends with Barbara Gordon since freshmen year of college. She had tried her hardest to get you out on the Gotham dating scene multiple times over the years to no avail. It’s not that you weren’t interested in dating, but you didn’t exactly make an effort to put yourself out there either. Babs had finally worn you down and got you to agree to let her set you up. She assured you that you’d like the mystery guy and that the two of you had a lot in common. You wanted to believe, but past experiences had taught you not believe everything you were told.

“Excuse me,” a voice asked cutting into your thoughts. “Are you (Y/N)?”

You glanced at the stranger. He was an attractive man, more than likely in his early twenties. He had gorgeous black hair that was slightly spiked. His blue eyes gleamed with curiosity as he stared at you. You let your eyes soak in his lean and muscular form. It was obvious he worked out in some capacity. He wore a plain grey t-shirt with some band name you had never heard of on it along with blue jeans and a belt. His hands were in his pockets and he stood slightly leaning to one side.

Realizing he had asked you a question and that you had been staring, your cleared your throat.

“Yeah, that’s me. You must be Tim. Nice to meet you.”

You stuck out your hand to him. He stared at it for a moment before reaching out and giving it a small shake. With that done. He slid into the booth across from you. You pushed the menu towards him. Tim nodded his thanks then opened it. He was still looking over the menu when your waiter came to take his drink order. Once the waiter had walked off, the dark-haired man looked up at you curiously.

“So, Barbara tells me you’re from the South. Which state?”

“The Volunteer State.” Seeing that he didn’t quite get your joke, you smiled sheepishly. “Uh…Tennessee.”

“Ah, I’ve never been there. Is it nice?”

This rest of your conversation took a similar route. You would ask him a question, he’d answer. He would ask you a question, you’d answer. You were pleasantly surprised to find out that your college friend was right, you and Tim did have a lot in common. Of course, you two did have some different tastes: he loved coffee while your preferred tea, he wasn’t big on country music while you loved it. The differences weren’t enough to chase you away though. Soon the two of you were laughing and having a good time.

“I can’t believe I almost said no to this blind date. Barbara has been trying to set me up for years.”

You laughed. “Same here! I honestly didn’t think I’d have this much fun.”

“Me too! I’ll never tell her that though.”

“She can get kind of full of herself at times, huh?”

“You can say that again!” Tim smiled at you. “So, do you want to do anything after dinner?”

You spent the next three hours walking around Gotham with Tim. He was very knowledgeable of the city, even more so than you. Of course, you had been somewhat of a hermit while in college. He pointed out good places to visit and areas to avoid at all costs. All in all, it was an enchanting evening.

You had just stepped into your apartment after saying goodnight with Tim when your phone rang. You knew who it was without even looking at the caller ID. Sighing in annoyance, you begrudgingly answered the ringing device.

“What is it Barbara? It’s been a long night and I’m exhausted.”

“So…” She hesitated to speak. “The date didn’t go well.”

“I didn’t say that.”

“Oh! Then it did go well!”

“I didn’t say that either.” You replied with a bored tone.

“C’mon (Y/N)! Give me something here! At least admit you had fun!”

You smirked at her childish behavior. “I admit nothing. Night Babs!”

~Mod Nerd Bird

2

This Is The Earliest Known Reference To “Gumbo” And Is Found In The Interrogation Records Of A Slave,  New Orleans, September 1764

GUMBO- The Creole Cookery Book, published by the Christian Woman’s Exchange of New Orleans in 1885, calls gumbo making an “occult science” that “should be allowed its proper place in the gastronomical world.”

A dish that originated in southern Louisiana from the Louisiana Creole people during the 18th century. It typically consists primarily of a strongly flavored stock, okra, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and seasoning vegetables, which can include celery, bell peppers and onions.

According to one suggestion, gumbo is a reinterpretation of traditional African cooking. West Africans used the vegetable okra as a base for many dishes, including soups, often pairing okra with meat and shrimp, with salt and pepper as seasonings. In Louisiana, the dish was modified to include ingredients introduced by other cultural groups. Surviving records indicate that by 1764, African slaves in New Orleans mixed cooked okra with rice to make a meal.  

A more familiar version of the dish was described in an 1879 cookbook by Marion Cabell Tyree. Her Housekeeping in Old Virginia described “Gumbo Filit A La Creole”, a filé-based gumbo with chicken and oysters and spiced with allspice, cloves, red and black pepper, parsley, and thyme. The 1881 cookbook What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking, dictated by former slave Abby Fisher, contained three gumbo recipes. “Oyster Gumbo Soup” used a filé base, while “Ochra Gumbo” and “Chicken Gumbo” used okra as a base. Four years later, the cookbook La Cuisine Creole documented eight varieties of gumbo. None used sausage, but almost all of them contained ham.  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gumbo#/media/File:Gumbo-1764.JPG

.https://www.yahoo.com/food/the-history-of-gumbo-82790044364.html

Recipes for a Southern Sunday 

After re-watching Forks Over Knives recently, I was reminded of how good I had been eating the past five years and how poorly I’ve been eating the past few months. You can even see it in my last few articles. Never would I have promoted so much sugar, oil, and processed food when I first started Cheap Vegan back in 2012.

I’m purposefully documenting it on here because I want people to see that even someone who has been vegan for 12 years and eating a Whole Foods Plant-Based diet for 5 years, is still very capable of slipping into the convenience of processed food, sugar, and caffeine. They taste good and are literally addictive, but even though it takes more work, in the long run it feels even better to make the right choices for our bodies.

So this Sunday I did what I always advise others to do: I went to the farmers market when it was closing down, bought $1 produce from someone trying to get rid of their excess, and I made a delicious meal out of my findings, big enough that I would have left overs for at least part of the week.

4-5 servings only cost me about

<$1 – Rice (from a giant bag)
$1 – Bunch of Collard Greens from Farmers Market
$.75 – onion
<$1 – garlic cloves
<$1 – Veggie Bouillon
<$.50 – 2 Celery Stalks
$1 – Green Pepper
$2 – 2 cans of beans
~$1.75 – 8 Sweet Potatoes (Trader Joes)

TOTALLING OUT TO APPROX: $10!!! That’s only about $2 a meal! And here’s how you make your own Southern Sunday:

RICE
-1.5 cups of brown rice

Put 1 part rice to 2 parts water in rice cooker and turn on.
(You may want to add a little extra water because brown rice is a little more dense)

GREENS
-½ onion
-3 cloves garlic
-1 Vegetable Bouillon cube or Vegetable Broth (adjust to taste)
- about 12 leaves of Collard Greens

1. Dice the onions very fine and chop the garlic very thick.
2. Wash and remove stems of collard greens, then cut into 1″x1″ squares.
3. Sautee the onions and garlic at a low heat until clear.
4. Add a little less than an inch of water with the cube of bouillon or just broth.
5. Once this is simmering, add collards to your rich oniony broth. Make sure you like this flavor because this is how your collards will taste. Adjust accordingly.
6. Mix collards in with broth for about 1 minute then remove from heat. You don’t want to over-cook the greens and you definitely don’t want to boil them.

BEANS
-½ onion
-2 stalks celery
-¼ bouillon cube (to taste)
-½ cup of green pepper (I actually used green poblano pepper for this one)
-2 cans of red or pinto beans

1. Dice the onions, celery, and peppers very fine and sautee at a low heat until onions are clear. 
2. Add beans and bouillon cube until everything is evenly mixed together.
3. (optional) Transfer to oven for a more robust flavor and smooth texture. Add small amount of water and cover if beans become too dry for your liking. 

SWEET POTATOES
-Sweet Potatoes

1. Wash and cut sweet potatoes into 1″ thick pieces.
2. Oil pan to prevent sticking and place in the oven at 350degrees.
3. Add small amount of water and cover with foil if sweet potatoes become too dry.

Viola! You have a soulful meal ready to eat and re-heat for the rest of the work week! Best part is, all of these dishes can be mixed and matched to eat in different ways throughout the week. Rice can be used for a stir fry. Beans can be used for Mexican. Sweet Potatoes can be mashed. Or Collards can be eaten with whole wheat pasta!

If you wanna see how I did it, check out my snap story below!

2

Tiana - The Princess and the Frog Beignets

“You know what I feel like? A mother effin beer.” -Tiana

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • 3 White bread Slices
  • Powered Sugar
  • 1 Jar of Honey (Optional)

HOW TO MAKE IT

  1. Form slices into balls
  2. Bake in oven at *350 for 10 minutes or until browned
  3. Cover in Powdered Sugar
  4. Pour entire jar of Honey generously over Beignets (Optional)

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Requested by @shootingmidnight 

10

Pulled Pork Sandwiches, coleslaw, cucumber salad, fresh BBQ sauce and fresh salsa. Took a 7 pound pork shoulder (bone in), rubbed with Memphis Blues BBQ rub made from their cookbook. Left in fridge 24h. Up at 6am to start the 8 hour smoke in the Smokey Mountain. Loaded with charcoal and applewood chunks. Smoked for 6 hours, then removed, wrapped in foil and finished for 2 more hours to preserve moisture. Shredded and ready, had a wonderful smokey flavour. Coleslaw and BBQ sauce and dressing made from their cookbook as well. Well worth picking up.

Fresh salsa was 10 tomatoes, fresh cilantro, garlic, a jalapeño, green onion, olive oil, salt and pepper. Cucumber salad was 3 cucumbers chopped and de seeded, chopped green olives, red chilies, fresh mint, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

A fantastic summery meal in autumn. The guests were pleased and I was happy that everything except the chips for the salsa I prepared from scratch.

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Rachel Cook & the Amalfi Coast | (🎥 by: Robert Voltaire) | LMX

I didn’t want to derail, but the whole white people in southern cooking taking credit for black culture reminds me of how easily we do that in Australia.

That whole outback cooking, bush tucker that we slap a white person’s face on and then make movies about it starring Paul Hogan.

Like, the invaders were from England and knew fuck all about the Australian bush. We were taught by Aboriginal people. Then we remove them from the romantic picture of the rugged, sunburnt country and pretend it’s our culture and pretend that they didn’t influence us.

“Everyone was there because they loved Jeff and believed in the film. They were so darn happy and curious about what was going to happen next. The crew slept in a kind of bunk house. For dinner we’d go to Jeff’s parents’ house and his Mom would make a buffet-style dinner. I’ve been on other film sets where they had fancy catering and trailers and everyone was walking around complaining all the time.”

–  Michael Shannon describing the close, family-like bond amongst the “Midnight Special” cast and crew